Iowa AFL-CIO President Ken Sagar made the following statement after the release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text:


For years, this trade deal has been negotiated in secret, finally today the public will have a chance to see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Working people will be able to see for themselves if this deal benefits America's working families over profit driven corporations.

Despite suggestions from the faith community, environmentalists, labor and many others, to date, there's no indication that improvements have been made to address labor standards, environmental protections or provisions that give corporations incentives to relocate American jobs to low-wage countries.

We will examine the text to see if enforceable currency rules exist, whether many Buy American & Buy Local policies are waived, and if the deal will raise the price of life-saving medicines. If these issues are not addressed, the AFL-CIO as the voice of organized working people in Iowa cannot support this agreement.


On Saturday, November 7th, the Dubuque Federation of Labor, AFLCIO, will host a day-long program, "Working Families Summit" at Northeast Iowa Community College Downtown Dubuque Campus from 10am - 4PM

The program will include a day of action, break-out sessions, and interactive discussions that examine ways to create coalitions to work on issues like raising family wages, health and education, and civil rights & immigration.

The Nation Magazine contributing writer John Nichols will keynote the summit. Other community, labor, and policy experts will speak during panel discussions and break out sessions, including Pam Jochum, Iowa Senate President, Mike Owen, Iowa Policy Project, Tammy Wawro, ISEA president, Inclusive Dubuque, and others tba.

"We can help to shape the presidential debate for 2016 to focus more on issues related to working families," said Bruce Clark, president of the Dubuque Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. "I want to see broader understanding of the number of issues from raising wages, to supporting families, to protecting civil rights, so that we all understand each other's issues and can support each other."

The summit will run from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Dubuque campus of Northeast Iowa Community College, 700 Main Street Dubuque. More information about the agenda and arrangements will be provided in the coming weeks.

Participants and Sponsors so far include : the Dubuque Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; Iowa Federation of Labor, AFLCIO; ISEA; NAACP; Inclusive Dubuque; LULAC; Presentation Lantern Center, and others.

The event is free and open to the public and includes lunch. Free handicapped accessible is available in the city ramp less than one block away.

For more information and to Register for the summit, visit our Facebook Page - Working Families Summit:

WHEN: Saturday, November 7, 10 AM - 4 PM
WHERE: Northeast Iowa Community College; 700 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
COST: Free and open to the public!

Participants in the program are available for interviews prior to the event. Please contact us to arrange interviews.

Burlington, Iowa - The Des Moines Henry County Labor Council, AFLCIO, has received confirmation from the Clinton Campaign that Hillary Clinton will speak at their annual Labor Day Picnic on Monday, September 7th, 2015. The picnic begins at 4PM until 8PM. It is held at 40 & 8 Park.

The Des Moines / Henry County Labor Council, AFL-CIO, will once again hold its annual Burlington Labor Day Picnic at the 40 & 8 Park (located directly behind the Bee's Stadium or Community Field), 27l2Mt. Pleasant St., Burlington, Ia. on September 7, 2015 (4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.).

This year we will again have a jump house and other family activities to try and make the picnic fun for everyone and all ages.  The picnic is one of the council's longest standing traditions. This year will be the second year where the local unions will compete to see who has the largest turnout of members at the event which entitles them to hold the Milt Branchini award for the year. This is a fun competition geared towards getting everyone involved.

Due to the large crowds expected for Hillary Clinton, the event itself will be FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

However, anyone wanting to stay for the food and activities can purchase tickets are priced at $5.00 for a single, $10.00 for family, and $100.00 for a block of 10 tickets. Many of our locals purchase the block of tickets and distribute them to their members so they may attend. Additional tickets may be purchased at the picnic as well.

Hillary Clinton has long been a champion for working families. However, her appearance at the picnic should not construe an endorsement from the labor council. The authority for making Presidential Endorsement remains with the National AFL-CIO and International Unions.

To learn more, please contact Ryan Drew, 319-759-3188 or email or Jon Garst 319-759-3814 



"Working For a Better Life"


Union members, families, and faith and community leaders will gather over the Labor Day weekend to celebrate the incredible achievements of people who are working for a better life.


"Every day, working people get up and work hard to create a better life for their families and for their communities, as well as all working people. It's time for America's economic policies to put people and families first, instead of the interests of a handful of wealthy and out-of-touch corporate CEOs. Working people deserve to make a good living in order to live a better life," said Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO.


The Iowa AFL-CIO, together with other labor and community groups, have partnered together to bring awareness of the problem with the current minimum wage and wage theft issues throughout the country. The broader labor movement is working to push a Raising Wages agenda through policies that make the workplace fairer for everyone. That includes raising wages, schedules that work for working families, the ability to use earned leave for sick days and other emergencies, and expanded overtime protection so people don't have to keep working more for less pay.

"Labor Day is a time when our country should reflect on how we build an economy that works for everyone," said Sagar. "America should work for we the people, not just the wealthy and well connected."


Iowa Labor Day Activities 2015

September 5: Saturday

Lucas: The John L Lewis Labor Festival, Lucas Iowa. 6 am breakfast, parade at 9 am. numerous events all day long. 641-766-6421 or 641-766-6544. Contact Mark Cooper or 641-766-6421 or 641-766-6544.

September 6: Sunday

Clinton: Eagle Point Park Lodge, in Clinton. Noon to 3 PM. Pulled pork sandwiches, hotdogs, baked beans, chips and beverage. Door prizes, 50/50 drawing and kids games. Speakers. Contact Dave Keefer at or 309-230-6576.

Ottumwa: Labor Day picnic, Noon to 4 PM. Jimmie Jones Shelter in Greater Ottumwa Park. Contact Steve Siegel, or 515-971-3325.

September 7: Monday

Burlington - Des Moines/Henry CLC Picnic . at 40 and 8 park in Burlington. (Directly behind the Bees Ballpark) 4 pm to 7 pm. Food served. Speakers. Kid's activities. Contact Ryan Drew 319-753-5316.

Cedar Rapids: Picnic 11 am to 4 pm. Hawkeye Downs, 4440  6th St SW, Cedar Rapids. Music by members of the Musician's Union. Door Prizes, and kids entertainment. Food, beverages, car and bike show, face painters. Food served 1130 to 130. AFL-CIO Secretary/Treasurer  Liz Shuler will be in attendance at this event. Contact Rick Moyle at or 319-396-8461.

Council Bluffs: Picnic in Downtown Omaha, 16th and Cass Street, starting at 10 am. Picnic with the Pottawattamie County Democrats at 1 PM at Lake Manawa shelter #6 in Council Bluffs. Contact Scott Punteney at or 712-527-2810

Des Moines - Parade and Picnic. Parade Line up at 8 am at corner of East 12th and E Grand. Parade route is east on Grand to the State Fair Ground. Parade starts at 11 am. Angela Connolly will be Grand Marshall for the parade. Contact Mark Cooper at or 515-265-1862

Dubuque: Parade starts at Jackson Park, 9:30 am. 16th and Main and ends at 7th and Locust. Contact Bruce Clark. or 563-599-7725.

Iowa City: Picnic - Noon to 5 PM at Upper City Park, Shelter #3. Iowa City. People are encouraged to bring a side dish to share but join us even if you don't!  All members, families and Friends of Labor are invited to attend! For more information contact Jesse Case at 319-361-3212.

Keokuk: Parade, kids activities; bands, food. Gathering at the Keokuk Labor Temple, 301 Blondeau St. Keokuk. Contact Gary Mortimer at or 319-670-1103

Mason City: North Iowa Nine Labor Council - Free Labor Day Picnic. 11 am to 3 pm. Georgia Hanford Park, 22nd St., SE Mason City. - Open to Public. Food and drinks. Contact Gerald Miller or 641-530-0187.

Quad Cities : 32nd annual Labor Day Parade Alliance - Quad Cities. Parade starts at 11 am. Call Joshua Schipp at 309-738-6536 or Parade in downtown East Moline.

Sioux City: Labor Day Picnic. Riverside Park. Food served at noon. Speakers. Contact Rick Scott at or 712 898-4915.

Waterloo/Cedar Falls: Picnic at Gateway Park, Cedar Falls. 11 am to 3 pm. Food, drinks, games. Contact Cal Eckhoff at or 319-232-2484.

2015 Theme:  Working. For A Better Life.

QUAD CITIES -- The Quad City Labor Day Parade Alliance will hold their 32nd Annual Labor Day Parade in East Moline on Monday, September 7th. This year's Grand Marshall is Brother Tom Moritz, UFCW #431 1st Vice President and Iowa Vice President for the Quad City Federation of Labor. On Labor Day, more than sixty area unions, community non-profits, businesses, and elected officials will march west on 15th Avenue from 13th Street to 3rd Street in East Moline, IL. Line up begins at 8 a.m. at the John Deere Harvester Works Parking Lot: 1100 13th Avenue, East Moline, IL. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m. After the parade, join us at the "Salute to Labor Chicken Fry" at Illiniwek Park, Rt 84 Hampton, IL. Serving from 11:30-3:00pm. The picnic tickets are $10 for adults and $6.00 for children under 12 and can be purchased at the event.

This Labor Day, we recognize the incredible achievements of America's working people and celebrate all those who make our country run. Many of us will be busy this weekend with barbecues, festivals and other types of family events. But this is also a time to truly consider what strengthens our families and take a look at how failed public policies have diminished working peoples' ability to sustain a good living and created an economy that is increasingly out of balance. Working people are the backbone of our economy and need to be recognized as such, both in word and deed. Too often, working people have taken a back seat to corporate interests that put profits above their pursuit of a better life?a better life they are perfectly willing to work for. Many hardworking people are frustrated because despite our sweat, our sacrifice and our innovation, too many of us struggle to support our families. We recognize the need for change, because the cost of living continues to rise while employers deny working people the wages and benefits needed to sustain their families.

Born from struggle and driven to find solutions, the labor movement is fighting back to correct this economic imbalance, and these efforts have captured the attention of everyone from the President to the Pope. We are determined to counteract these imbalances because we know they did not come about by chance. They have been the result of failed public policies and a rise in political and corporate attacks on working people. Simply put, it is time to change the rules. Working people are united under the banner of Raising Wages because America should have an economy of shared prosperity that lifts families up and strengthens our nation. By raising wages, providing for paid sick days, paid maternity leave and equal pay for equal work, combating wage theft and other things that stand in the way of economic stability, we can empower working people to not just survive, but thrive. On Labor Day, let us refocus on doing what is best for our families, our communities, our state and our nation. Working people everywhere are standing up and speaking out for fundamental, lasting change, regardless of whether they work in manufacturing, engineering, service or retail. Every day, they work hard and sacrifice to make our country stronger. This Labor Day should be a celebration of working families, because we are ready to speak up together, change the rules and bring lasting economic balance so every family can pursue the American Dream and work for a better life.

Striking Hy-Brand Workers Rally for "Safety Before Profits"
Milan, Illinois - A group of workers from Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors in Muscatine will travel to the Quad Cities Wednesday to send a message to company executives that it's time to address the safety hazards and abusive treatment they say they have experienced. Workers will gather with community supporters at 11:30am in front of the headquarters of their parent company Brandt Construction, located at 700 Fourth Street W in Milan, to speak out about the working conditions that led several workers to strike last week for safe jobs and respect.
Wednesday's action marks the third action workers and community supporters have taken recently to call on Hy-Brand management to meet and address workers' concerns. Last week, a delegation of religious leaders delivered a letter to the company's Muscatine office, requesting a meeting to discuss working conditions. The letter was signed by clergy from five local churches and the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, a nonprofit worker' rights organization based in Iowa City. Later that day, several Hy-Brand workers went on strike to protest ongoing safety hazards and repeated instances of verbal and physical abuse by managers. Hy-Brand has not responded to the striking workers or the community delegation.
WHAT:Rally for Workplace Safety
WHERE: In front of Brandt Construction, 700 Fourth Street W, Milan, IL
WHEN: Wednesday, July 15 at 11:30am
WHO: Striking Hy-Brand workers and community supporters
Hy-Brand workers say they are taking a stand for each other and for their families. "I've seen too many near accidents and co-workers injured that could have been prevented," says striking worker Dakota Upshaw. Co-worker Austin Hovendon agrees, "I was worried most days that I wouldn't make it home to my wife and children because of the unsafe working conditions and the lack of training."
In just over a week, their struggle has already won the support of a broad network of groups, including rally co-sponsors Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, Ironworkers Local 111, Quad City Federation of Labor, Social Action Office of the Diocese of Davenport, Tri-City Building Trades, UFCW Local 431, and Quad Cities Interfaith.
"American workers are more productive than ever, working longer hours and still they are not getting ahead." Said Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. "Updating the federal overtime regulations is a significant step the President can take today to raise the wages of working people."

The Iowa Federation of Labor, strongly supports the proposed changes in the overtime eligibility rules to restore the overtime protection workers have lost to inflation since 1975.

Under federal overtime regulations, workers who earn less than a certain salary level are generally entitled to overtime protection.  The last regular adjustment to the salary level was made by President Ford in 1975. No further adjustments were made for the next 29 years.

The current federal threshold for overtime is $455 per week?or $23,660 per year.  To simply make up for inflation, it should be raised to $51,168. Many workers who would benefit from restored overtime protection are employees at banks, Walmart, and fast food restaurants. Insurance clerks, secretaries, low-level managers, social workers, bookkeepers, dispatchers, sales and marketing assistants and employees in scores of other occupations would also benefit.

The Iowa Federation of Labor: representing the interests of nearly a quarter of a million Iowans who make Iowa work.

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Contrary to a newspaper article printed in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the Iowa Federation of Labor (IFL) has not endorsed and will not endorse candidate Sanders or any other presidential candidate.  The Iowa Federation of Labor has no authority to endorse presidential candidates at all.

The "Union Leaders" quoted and identified in this news article do not speak for the members of the Iowa Federation of Labor or the AFL-CIO.

Their comments can be taken as their opinions and their intentions to be addressed at the convention.


Presidential Issues, No Candidates Necessary ? for Now

Summit Goal: Wage, Justice Issues Should Shape Coming Iowa Campaign

Who says you need presidential candidates to talk political issues in Iowa?

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich will keynote a Working Families Summit scheduled for Saturday, May 16, in Ames.

The event, coordinated by several progressive, labor and advocacy organizations, is free and open to the public ? though space will be limited and reservations are required.

"Remember, candidates and ultimately presidents work for us," said Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, a leading sponsor of the May 16 event in Ames.

"Our Working Families Summit is designed to bring together progressive Iowans and progressive ideas, so more Iowans and political candidates at all levels better understand the issues that are critical to working families.

"This is especially important with a presidential campaign already underway in our state, and big choices ahead in 2016 up and down the ballot."

The Summit will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Scheman Building at Iowa State University, with morning remarks from Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA); Sarita Gupta, executive director of Jobs with Justice; and Tefere Gebre, executive vice president, AFL-CIO.

Breakout sessions will focus on many hot-button topics for working families: wages, work supports such as child care and paid medical leave, retirement, education, civil rights and current political attacks on workers.

The event will close with Reich's keynote and remarks by Sagar.

"Iowans will have plenty of time between now and next February to meet with and hear from candidates for president," Sagar said. "What we need now is a common agenda on issues ranging from our low wages, to how to better support families and protect civil rights."

No presidential candidates will be speaking at the event ? though any are welcome to attend.

"This will be a great opportunity for presidential candidates to hear the concerns about concrete issues facing Iowa's working families," Sagar said.

Sponsors include the AFL-CIO along with many Iowa labor and advocacy organizations focused on concerns for working families in Iowa: Iowa Federation of Labor; AFSCME Iowa Council 61; Iowa Building and Trades Council; Communications Workers of America (CWA), Iowa Postal Workers Union (APWU), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), Iowa Citizen Action Network (ICAN), Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), Laborers International Union of Northern America (LIUNA), Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), Progress Iowa, Iowa Policy Project, Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, Iowa Community Action Association, American Friends Service Committee, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, Move On, United Auto Workers (UAW), Working America, AFGE, UFCW, UAW, APWU Local 44, IUPAT, NALC, IBEW, USW, IAMAW, UE, Alliance for American Manufacturing, Mid-Iowa Community Action, and Make it Work.

Members of the public are welcome and admission is free, but a donation of non-perishable food items is requested. To register for the summit, go to, and for more information, visit the Working Families Summit page on Facebook.

Free round-trip bus service to the event is available from the Quad-Cities, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Manchester and Evansdale. To reserve a bus seat, call 309-738-3196 or email


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Safe Jobs save lives, keep the promise alive

Cedar Rapids: April 28, 5:30 pm. IBEW Local 405 Hall, 1211 Wiley Blvd SW. Speakers: Kelly Steinke, President of Hawkeye Labor Council; Paul Iversen, University of Iowa Labor Center and Liz Mathis, Iowa State Senator. Sponsored by the Hawkeye Labor Council.  Rick Moyle or 319-396-8461

Clinton: April 28, 1 pm. Clinton Riverview RV Park (9th ave. north at the beginning of the dike). Speakers: Congressman Dave Loebsack; State Senator Rita Hart; State Representative Mary Wolfe, Clinton City Council, Mayor, Fire Chief and Police Chief have also been invited. Contact Dave Keefer 309-788-4569 or

Des Moines: April 28, 11 am. West Capitol Terrace (west side of Capitol, near Historical Building). Speakers: Commissioner Michael Mauro (Iowa Division of Labor); Director Beth Townsend (Iowa Workforce Development); and Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO. Sponsored by the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor. Contact Mark Cooper 515-265-1862 or

Dubuque: April 28, 5:30 pm, at the Labor Temple (1610 Garfield). Speaker: Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; Bruce Clark, President of the Dubuque Federation of Labor. Dubuque Fire Fife and Drums, UAW Color Guard. Mark Cook or 563-590-8749

Fort Madison/Keokuk: We hung wreathes that said Hero at both Keokuk and Fort Madison Halls then we surrounded them with names of everyone who died to honor them. Contact Gary Mortimer, 319-670-1103 or

Iowa City: April 28, 12:30 pm at the Iowa City Ped Mall. (Fountain Plaza) Ceremony. Contact Jesse Case, 319-361-3212 or

Quad Cities: April 28, 11:30 am. USW Local 105 Union Hall, 880 Devils Glen Road, Bettendorf, IA.  Sponsored by the Quad Cities Federation of Labor. Contact Joshua Schipp 309-738-6536 or

Sioux City: Northwest Iowa labor council will have an event at the UFCW local 222 hall at 7:00 pm. Mac Smith will be speaking. Contact Rick Scott, 712-898-4915 or

Waterloo: April 28, 5:30 pm. Black Hawk Labor Temple, 1695 Burton Ave. Waterloo. Charlie Wishman, Secretary/Treasurer Iowa Federation of Labor, and others, will speak at the event. There will be other activities to honor those killed on the job.